this year i experienced my first mother's day as a mother.
one month ago, i was two and a half months into motherhood and not at all feeling like i was doing that great of a job. at that time, crying was still my baby's primary form of communication, which frankly left me feeling a bit frazzled all the time. i generally imagined mothers to be much more in tuned with their children and, you know, able to address their basic needs. in other words, i was feeling a bit like a fraud.
then, at the end of the actual day, i had this surreal moment.
joseph and i went to mass that evening. at the end of the liturgy, the priest asked all of the mothers in the church to stand for a blessing. joseph nudged me to stand, and i did, looking around at all the other mothers--old, young, and in-between, of various ethnicities, many with their children by their sides. i had my baby swaddled close to my body in a carrier, and, as a i stood, i felt very consciously ... like a mother.
the priest prayed for us, and then some of the students of the congregation handed us each carnations.
this was something that i had witnessed at mass on mother's day every year all of my life at the different churches that i've attended--the mothers' blessing, the carnations. and as i stood, my mind raced as i silently exclaimed, "i'm getting a carnation!"
being a mother is obviously much more than a carnation on mother's day. i'm still learning (my baby is a good teacher!). but, in the meantime, i will take all the blessings i can get.